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2008-UP-124 - Anonymous Taxpayer v. South Carolina Department of Revenue

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE, IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Anonymous Taxpayer, Appellant,

v.

South Carolina Department of Revenue, Respondent.


Appeal From Richland County
 G. Thomas Cooper, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2008-UP-124
Submitted February 1, 2008 – Filed February 20, 2008


AFFIRMED


Emily T. Short, of Goose Creek, for Appellant.

Ronald W. Urban, South Carolina Department of Revenue, of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Anonymous Taxpayer (the taxpayer) appeals from a circuit court order dismissing her appeal from the administrative law court.  We affirm.[1]

FACTUAL / PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Between January 1, 1996 and March 31, 1998, the taxpayer owned and operated Emily’s Temporary Housing, a sole-proprietorship.  On April 1, 1999, the taxpayer incorporated her business as Emily’s at Otranto, Inc., doing business as Emily’s Temporary Housing Service.  The taxpayer’s businesses leased local houses and sublet the houses to individuals.   In 2000, the Department of Revenue (the Department) conducted a sales and accommodations tax audit of the taxpayer’s businesses.  During the audit, the Department determined the taxpayer sublet various properties for time periods less than ninety days and failed to remit the applicable taxes on the proceeds of the rentals.  The Department issued a proposed assessment to the sole-proprietorship in the amount of $13,093.41, and to the corporation in the amount of $2,873.02. 

The taxpayer requested a contested hearing before the Administrative Law Court (ALC).  After a hearing, the ALC upheld the Department’s assessments.  The taxpayer did not pay or post bond for the amount of tax and interest assessed by the Department.  Instead, the taxpayer appealed to the circuit court.  The Department filed a motion to dismiss.  By order of June 20, 2006, the circuit court granted the Department’s motion.  This appeal followed.

LAW / ANALYSIS

I.  Failure to Pay

The taxpayer argues the circuit court erred in dismissing her appeal for failure to pay or post a bond for the amount of tax and interest determined to be due by the ALC.   We disagree.

South Carolina Code Section 12-60-3370 states “[a] taxpayer shall pay, or post bond for, all taxes, not including penalties or civil fines, determined to be due by the administrative law judge before appealing the decision to the circuit court.”  S.C. Code Ann. § 12-60-3370 (Supp. 2005).  The term “tax” or “taxes” is defined to include interest.  S.C. Code Ann. § 12-60-30(27) (Supp. 2005).  A party’s failure to comply with such procedural requirements for an appeal divests a court of appellate jurisdiction.  State v. Brown, 358 S.C. 382, 387, 596 S.E.2d 39, 41 (2004).

Here, the amount due from the taxpayer is a “tax” as defined in the South Carolina Revenue Procedures Act (the Act).  The Act defines “tax” or “taxes” as “taxes, licenses, permits, fees, or other amounts, including interest, regulatory and other penalties, and civil fines, imposed by this title, or subject to assessment or collection by the Department.”  S.C. Code Ann. § 12-60-30(27).  Section 12-36-920 imposes “a sales tax equal to seven percent . . . on the gross proceeds derived from the rental . . . for any rooms, . . . lodgings, or sleeping accommodations furnished to transients.”  S.C. Code Ann. § 12-36-920. 

As stated above, taxpayer failed to pay the taxes attributable to her sole proprietorship and corporation prior to filing her appeal in the circuit court.  Accordingly, the circuit court properly dismissed the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction.

II.  Timeliness

The taxpayer further argues the circuit court erred in dismissing her appeal as untimely.  Because we affirm the circuit court’s order on the failure to pay issue, we decline to address this issue.  See I’On, L.L.C. v. Town of Mount Pleasant, 338 S.C. 406, 423, 526 S.E.2d 716, 725 (2000) (holding the court need not address additional issues if the issues are not necessary to the resolution of the case).

AFFIRMED.

HEARN, C.J., PIEPER, J., and GOOLSBY, A.J., concur.


[1]  We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.